Posted by: martinworster | May 8, 2005

32. FC FLAHERTYS II

Dash for the finish line on a winning streak…feeling my age

 We’ve just finished our football season. We ended on a winning streak with victory in our last six games. Not bad considering we lost every other game up till then. We sat proudly on the bottom of the league until late April and then finished five places from the bottom. At least – if it there was another league below us – we wouldn’t have been relegated!

On a personal level the league ended on a bit of a whimper. I was away for a lot of games so I lost my place. I also had a niggling knee injury from a torn cruciate ligament about six years ago, aggravated by snowboarding and playing footy this season. I also began to feel my age. I’d say the average age in the league is twenty five. We have a 19 year old playing for us. Depressingly, at nearly, gulp, 33, I’m considered a vet. Also the playing style is very fast and on a hard, gravel pitch. None of those Elysian Fields of my English youth, a spongy reciprocal to dives with muddy baths for those sliding tackles. No, over here if you fall you get pizza elbow. It’s also interesting the different playing styles of nationalities and it makes for an interesting game. I’ve played with Dutch, Brazilian, Spanish, American, Catalan, Irish, Italian, French, Canadian, Danish and of course English players. It’s like the Premiership. Or a microcosm of expat society here. Which I guess would make sense as it’s a an expat league.

One thing I’ve noticed is definitely that the English play more physical. They’re good at diving here. Any slight brush of contact and the Continentals are cartwheeling, screaming and whingeing to the the ref. Who more often than not will blow his whistle. It’s been a great experience but I’m gonna get fit for next season and get some confidence back with my ball skills.

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